England were surprised by the fast bowler Jofra Archer‘s return from injury in a Barbados club match last week, with team boss Rob Key saying on Monday he was unaware of his involvement. Long-term injury absentee Archer joined England, currently on a white-ball tour of the West Indies, in Barbados – the island of his birth – on Friday as part of the Sussex quick’s ongoing rehabilitation from a long-term right elbow problem. It is understood he flew back to the UK on Sunday, but not before appearing a few hours earlier for his old school side Foundation on day one of their three-day match against Lords in division one of the Barbados Cricket Association league , where he was the choice of the attack with 4-18.
But it appears he did so without England’s knowledge, with England director of men’s cricket Rob Key speaking after announcing a Test squad for the India tour on Monday, saying: “I’m not aware of that – that I’ll find out.”
The Cricketer website reported that one of Archer’s wickets was via left-arm spin.
The 28-year-old paceman’s last professional appearance was in May and Archer was ruled out of the Ashes due to a recurrence of a stress fracture in a right elbow that has troubled him repeatedly since his breakout year in 2019.
Archer, not included in the Test squad, spent just three days in Mumbai after being named as England’s sole “traveling reserve” for the recent 50-over World Cup, but was awarded a two-year central contract in October.
England, wary of rushing Archer back, refused him permission to take part in the Indian Premier League auction with a view to possibly getting him ready for the 2024 T20 World Cup in June.
“Jofra bowled out here (in Barbados),” Key added. “As you often see with Jofra, he swings up, ends up bowling 95 miles an hour and he looks like an absolute genius.
“But we’re just going to take it slow with him. We don’t want to put any kind of deadlines on him. That’s what we’ve done in the past, we’re trying to learn from what we’ve done in the past with Jofra.
“Actually now we’re taking control of him coming back. We’re not going to say, ‘You have to come back for this part here.'”
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